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Is Your Sweet Tooth Killing You?




sug·ar

  1. a sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet, consisting essentially of sucrose, and used as a sweetener in food and drink:

2.    any of the class of soluble, crystalline, typically sweet-tasting carbohydrates found in living tissues and exemplified by glucose and sucrose.


*Within 15 minutes of eating, the body begins breaking carbs and sugars down into glucose.


    This information is not all doom and gloom! You can have sugar in moderation. The goal is simply to bring about awareness of the dangers of excess sugar consumption. 


   Chances are, you already know what sugar is and that eating too much of it isn’t good for you.

Foods items such as:

·         SUGARY DRINKS

·         CANDY

·         BAKED GOODS

·         SWEETENED DAIRY

·         BREADS

·         TOMATO SAUCE

·          PROTEIN BARS

·         FRUITS

**TO COMPLICATE IT FURTHER, ADDED SUGARS CAN BE HARD TO SPOT ON NUTRITION LABELS SINCE THEY CAN BE LISTED UNDER A NUMBER OF TRICKY NAMES. 

A good rule of thumb is to note, if a word ends in "ose," or "ol" often indicates a sugar, sugar substitute or sugar alcohol. (Ex: sucralOSE, ErythritOL)

     We are familiar with the well-known sources of sugar. (Such as those listed above) But, did you know that things like Breads, Sauces, Milk, Yogurt, CHEESE, Vitamins, chewing gum, and even some “Health foods” often contain high amounts of sugar, sugar alcohols, or artificial sweeteners? Complicating things even further, many manufacturers make it difficult to spot these ingredients on a nutritional label by hiding it behind a tricky name. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to know…… I wonder why that is…

 

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT:

The amount of sugar that hides in our food daily can be shocking!

 

     Consuming processed sugar gives your brain a surge of a “feel good” chemical called Dopamine, it also releases endorphins (Endorphins activate the body's opiate receptors.) Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is the key component of the “reward circuit” of the brain and is associated with addictive behavior. When a certain behavior causes an excess release of dopamine, you feel a form of “high”. This reaction makes you inclined to repeat the behavior so you can re-experience the feeling. If you repeat this behavior more and more, you become “addicted” to the effects of sugar consumption.

     This “programmed” excessive sugar intake (addiction) can lead to negative results such as weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, etc. Each time you consume processed sugar, you are reinforcing those neuropathways, reinforcing hardwiring of the brain to crave MORE sugar. Over time, you build up a tolerance to it just like you do with any other drug. Meaning to need MORE sugar to get the same results. Studies indicate sugar can be even more addictive than cocaine.

     Your brain becomes “programmed and/or conditioned” to want more and more sugar to get this dopamine/endorphin response AND food manufacturers know it! There is even terminology for this specific result. It is called the “bliss point”. The bliss point was created by and American market researcher Howard Moskowitz. He described it as “the sensory point where you like the food the most”. There is a bliss point for sugar. (and salt and fats) What this does, nutritional experts say, is it creates an expectation in us that everything should be an exaggerated level of sweet. Excess sweet is what feeds our “sugar addiction”, and the cycle strengthens.

 

Studies have linked excessive sugar intake found in the Standard American Diet (SAD) to the following issues and conditions:

·         Elevated B/P 

·         Chronic inflammation  

·         Weight gain 

·         Increased abdominal girth (Visceral fat- accumulation around the belly area.) 

·         Diabetes 

·         Fatty liver disease  

·         Feeds cancers, Candida overgrowth, yeast/mold, bad bacteria, and certain toxins 

·         Tooth decay 

·         Increased risk of heart disease and MI 

·         INCREASED RISK OF CVA 

·         Skin irritations (acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis) 

·         Mood disorders  

·         Sexual dysfunction  

·         Many, many more 

 

How to identify SUGAR:

    On the label, you’ll find two numbers for sugar. One is the number of grams of sugar. (4 grams of sugar is roughly equivalent to 1 teaspoon of sugar.)

There is also a percentage, which indicates how much of your recommended daily intake this food item will account for.

The American Heart Association recommends women consume 25 grams of sugar and men 36 grams. Unfortunately, all these numbers are only accurate up to a point. The FDA allows for up to a 20% margin of error for the information stated on the label.

 

    The average man should consume 36 grams (9 tsp) or LESS of sugar daily. The average woman less than 24 grams. (6 tsp) Unfortunately the average daily intake for most Americans is 100-150 grams (or more) of sugar EVERY DAY! ( ½-1 cup) Ultimately you want to LIMIT ALL SUGAR SOURCES….. But when choosing sweeteners, it is important to remember that the best options are ALWAYS NATURAL sweeteners: 

HONEY AND MAPLE SYRUP which are both preferable over cane sugar.  

 

 

Here are some examples:

·         1- can of Coke = 9.75 tsp (39 GRAMS)

·         1- can of Pepsi = 10.25tsp (41GRAMS)

·         1- can of MOUNTAIN DEW = 19.25 tsp (77 GRAMS)

·         1 HAM SANDWICH = approximately 2.5 tsp (10 GRAMS)

·         BIG MAC, LARGE FRY & LARGE COKE = 23.75 tsp (95 GRAMS)

·         WHOPPER, LARGE FRY, & LARGE COKE = 28.25 tsp (113 GRAMS)

·         LUCKY CHARMS ¾ CUP & 1 CUP OF 2% MILK = 5.75 tsp (23 GRAMS)

·         MCDONALDS LARGE SWEET TEA =9.5 tsp (38 GRAMS)

·         Granola Bar (gluten free) = 1.75 tsp

·         1 slice of bread = 1.5 tsp

·         1 4-ounce Margarita – 3 tsp (13 grams)

 

So let us discuss some of the effects of sugar on your body….

    The Brain - High blood glucose levels can affect the brain by causing it to atrophy and shrink over time. It can impair cognitive function and deficits in memory and attention. Also, it can lead to small-vessel disease, which constricts blood flow in the brain, resulting in cognitive difficulties and may lead to the development of vascular dementia.

    The Liver – Excessive processed sugar can impair the liver. When sugar is broken down in the liver it is transformed into glucose, unfortunately we take in far more sugar than the body needs. This excess sugar isn’t needed for energy, (glucose) so the liver converts it into fat in the form of triglycerides meaning plaques begin to form on the walls of the arteries or in the liver itself. Increased fat build-up in the liver can lead to inflammation and scarring. It also impedes the liver’s overall functions.

    Your Weight – It’s not news that the more sugar you consume, the more you will weigh. Research shows that people who drink sugary beverages weigh more. Excess consumption of processed sugar (Including artificial sweeteners) can inflame “fat cells” causing an increase in chemicals that contribute to weight GAIN. Much of this weight is “visceral fat”. It settles around the abdomen creating the “beer belly or apply belly” effect. Studies on DIET pop also show an INCREASE IN WEIGHT. (In 2017 several companies were SUED for labeling their sodas and drinks as DIET – because it has been proven that some artificial sweeteners cause weight gain.) 

     Your Heart/Circulation – Consuming sugary food causes a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. The extra insulin can result in the walls of the arteries becoming thickened and inflamed. This can put extra stress on your heart and damage it over time.

     Systemic- Inflammation: If you are prone to joint pain, you may note that increased sugar consumption has been shown to worsen joint pain. Processed sugar stimulates pro-inflammatory markers which can lead to chronic systemic inflammation that contributes to many health conditions. It can suppress the immune system, it can also attach to proteins and slowly break down the elasticity found in body tissue leading to increased wrinkles, and visible signs of aging.

Fat cells produce estrogens

     Hormone Imbalance: The fat cells (found in our visceral fat) specifically the midsection belly fat, produce estrogen. When you eat a high sugar diet, the body copes with it by turning it into fat cells, which then produce estrogen. The more sugar you eat, the more fat cells you create, and the more estrogen your body produces. Excess sugar intake also leads to insulin spikes. The body secretes this hormone to help cells utilize blood sugar for energy. Insulin also increases the production of testosterone which plays an important role in regulating sexual function, bone density, and muscle mass. However, an excessive amount of testosterone can lead to unwanted symptoms like acne, hair loss and mood swings.

    NOTE: When testosterone is produced, it’s then converted into estrogen by fat tissue in the belly, which feeds the vicious cycle of hormonal imbalance. Reducing processed sugars and refined carbs is the FIRST STEP in addressing hormone imbalance.

    Sugar can cause or worsen hormone imbalance in both men and women. Sugar consumption increases blood sugar levels, which leads to insulin spikes that affect the production and balance of other hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. While excess sugar in the diet can elevate testosterone levels in women, ironically it can lower testosterone levels in men! This leads to lower sex drive and erectile dysfunction in men.  Contributing to erection problems.

 (ED - Elevated blood sugar, or frequent glucose spikes, over time can damage the nerves and blood vessels, causing problems with getting or keeping an erection.)  High blood sugar, or frequent glucose spikes, can impact the nerves, blood vessels, and blood flow in every part of your body, including the penis.   

    Other effects of sugar on your body include:

•             Lowered immune system

•             Poor skin (wrinkles, crepey skin, discolorations, dull, etc)

•             Increased stress levels

•             Depressed thyroid function

•             Depleted B vitamins

 

GLUCOSE SPIKES

Glucose spikes are sharp rises in blood sugar levels. They often occur when you eat too many sweets such as simple carbohydrates and added sugars. This causes your blood glucose to rise quickly and stay elevated. Repeated glucose spikes and crashes can contribute to brain fog, INTENSE sugar cravings, and contribute to long-term

health conditions including:

·         Aging and arthritis

·         Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

·         Type 2 diabetes

·         Cancer risk

 

CANCER:

Studies have indeed found a strong and accurate link between refined sugar intake

and cancer. Sugar causes higher insulin levels and related growth factors, this can influence cancer cell growth, and increase risk of other chronic diseases. Many types of cancer cells have plenty of insulin receptors! This makes them respond more in growth in comparison to normal cells. Tumors prefer sugar for energy and will use more than normal cells. Consuming excess sugar can result in cancer growing and spreading more quickly. All dietary carbohydrates are digested into sugars called glucose. It is accurate to call all carbs “sugar”, but there is a BIG difference in the

 source of the carbs — ripe whole fruits versus cabs/starches, OR whole fruits

 versus refined processed sugar. Natural occurring sugars are always a better choice than processed or refined sugars.

    Refined sugars (and many starches) are a common cause of endotoxin production

 in your gut. This endotoxin destroys mitochondrial function and results in cancer metabolism. However the NATURAL OCCURING sugar present in whole foods/fruits does not typically result in the production of endotoxin.

 

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS:

I DRINK DIET POP!  SO, I’M OK, ……RIGHT? …….NO! The consumption of ASPARTAME (which is in ALL Diet soda’s as well as Coke and Pepsi ZERO) is phenylalanine and aspartic acid. These chemicals break down in the body into two amino acids and methanol. The methanol is further broken down into a formaldehyde like substance and stored in various tissues of the body.

 

Artificial sweeteners were invented to taste like sugar but have little calories; the goal was to have a sweetener that we could eat more of without developing diseases or gaining too much weight. However, artificial sweeteners have been proven to have negative effects on the body and brain that sugars do not. Our brain, stomach microbes, and pancreas process artificial and real sugars VERY differently.

Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in moderation because they “trick” our brains and bodies—which can have negative health consequences.

Formaldehyde, Aspartame and migraines: a possible connection

 

Artificial Sweeteners:

·         Aspartame (BLUE aka Equal)- Linked to - Headaches, dizziness, depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Cancer

·         Saccharin (PINK aka Sweet N Low) -Linked to - Headaches, respiratory issues, skin rash, diarrhea, possibly carcinogenic.

·         Acesulfame-k- Consists of a potassium salt containing Methylene Chloride which is a known carcinogen. Other related issues: headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver and kidney effects, cancer. (This is in COKE ZERO, PEPSI ZERO, DIET MOUNTAIN DEW, BARQS DIET RB, SPRITE ZERO, etc.)

·         Sucralose (YELLOW aka Splenda)-Synthetic, was actually discovered while they were trying to develop an insecticide. Increases blood glucose, increases insulin levels.

·         Stevia (GREEN aka Stevia) – Linked to -Diarrhea, may lower blood pressure, and possibility of allergic reaction as it is plant derived.

  

 

**If you would like more in depth knowledge on this topic, schedule a one-on-one session.

 

 

SUGAR DETOX

Steps to Help You Navigate Withdrawal Symptoms

 

YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING IN TO!

We discussed that sugar works on the same receptors in the brain that opioids do…… so it goes without saying that detoxing off sugar may cause similar symptoms to detoxing off opioids!

 

•        INTENSE SUGAR CRAVINGS                STOMACH CRAMPS

•        HEADACHES                                       DEPRESSION

•        MUSCLE ACHES                                   JOINT PAIN

•        NAUSEA                                              SWEATS

•        IRRITABILITY                                      ANXIETY/PANIC ATTACKS

*AS WITH OPIOID WITHDRAWALS, THE DETOX PERIOD CAN LAST 2-7 DAYS!!!

We have an herbal tea to help with these symptoms. It is recommended you begin consuming this tea a couple of days BEFORE you stop all refined/processed sugar consumption. (Kick The Habit)

 

HIGH PROTIEN: 

  The best protein source to fight sugar cravings might be legumes (ie: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, tofu, and peas). These are particularly effective at fighting sugar cravings because these protein sources serv e a dual purpose of protein plus fiber, which reduce blood sugar surges and insulin spikes. PROTIEN, (Good) FAT and FIBER FOR BREAKFAST:

·         Protein

·         (Good) Fat

·         Fiber

·         Little to NO starches

·         NO SUGARS, except for RAW FRUITS. (Not fruit juices, or sweets) Whole fruits contain fiber which slows how the glucose breaks down.

    When it comes to glucose, the “BREAKFAST SPIKE” dictates the spikes and cravings for the rest of the day. It is important to note: HOW FAST you consume your food (sugars/starches/carbs) also contributes to how rapidly the glucose hits your bloodstream. IT also matters that you eat your foods in the ‘RIGHT ORDER’ at each meal:

·         Veggies FIRST

·         Proteins SECOND

·         Starches/Sugars AT THE END OF THE MEAL.

    Eating foods in the right order can decrease glucose spikes up to 75%.

You don’t need to “wait” between foods, just consume them in this order. Veggies should be your APPETIZER of choice prior to eating your meal and then consumed FIRST when your meal arrives.

    Avoid carbs/starches and sugars as a “snack” or appetizer. This contributes to glucose flooding the bloodstream in an expedited manner causing a “glucose spike”.

    When you consume veggies FIRST, the fiber in them break down and make a “lining cover” along the intestinal wall. This lining causes the glucose to be “slowed down” in its entry to the blood stream which reduces the “spike” effect.

 

EPSOM SALT BATHS:

    Add 8-10 lbs of Epsom salts to a very warm bath (make the water as warm as you can tolerate, to get a good sweat going) You can add 1 cup bentonite clay to the bath for additional effectiveness if you prefer. Soak for 20 minutes. The secret for using Bentonite clay is that its toxin-binding powers lies in its negative ionic charge and absorption abilities. This pulls positively-charged ions from the bloodstream for elimination. Pesticides, heavy metals, and harmful bacteria are all positively charged, making them susceptible to the pull of the clay.

 

SAUNA:

   A sauna may help release toxins from the body. Sweating is one of the best ways to detox your body. Saunas allow for a concentrated sweat, helping to release toxins from the deep tissues of the body, primarily fat tissues, where they are stored.

 

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL:

    It doesn’t absorb toxins. Instead, activated charcoal works through the chemical process of adsorption. This is the chemical reaction of elements (including nutrients, chemicals, and toxins, that are in the tissues, GI tact and the bloodstream) binding to a surface. Activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive-charged toxins and gas to bond with it. The heat of the body’s processes are what allow for the charcoal’s “activation.”

    NOTE: DO NOT consume activated charcoal within 2 hours of a meal or medication/supplement. It will bind it and you will not absorb the nutrients or medication.

 

HYDRATION:

    It is important that you minimize caffeine when detoxing. Dehydration increases the effects of detox and makes the body work harder to move impurities out. Celtic salt is a good item to implement when working to hydrate the body. It can help to keep the electrolyte minerals in your body balanced, releasing excess sodium and water.

   The body requires water for optimal function. Just because it is liquid doesn’t mean it helps with hydration. Energy drinks and soda are some of the WORST things you can use to hydrate the body with.

   

 

HERBAL TEAS:

    Herbal teas can be an excellent option when hydrating. When consuming HERBAL tea that is NON-CAFFIENATED, it is best to consume them on an EMPTY stomach. It helps with optimal absorption of the herbs and components of the herbal teas.

Craving Crusher Tea - Use this tea as a tool to disrupt cravings for sweets. If you are craving a cookie or your favorite dessert, drink a cup of tea first.

 

Craving Crusher Tea

A blend of herbs that work to reduce sweet cravings and help you regain control over your dietary habits. It works to block the ability to taste “sweet flavor” for approximately 15-20 minutes. When consumed routinely, Craving Crusher may help reduce your cravings for sugars, starches, and carbs.

 

Use this tea as a tool to disrupt cravings for sweets. If you are craving a cookie or your favorite dessert, drink a cup of tea first.

Be sure to swish the tea around your mouth and hold it 25-30 seconds before swallowing.

 

Craving Crusher tea contains Gymnema sylvestre. This herb can block the sugar receptors on your tongue, decreasing your ability to taste sweetness. This can lead to reduced sugar cravings. Because the sweet flavor will be reduced by at least 75%, the sweet treat will no longer be enjoyable. When this tea is consumed on a regular basis it can render results that reduce your desire for sugary foods and drinks on a more permanent basis.

 

Ingredients**:

All organic: Gymnema, Peppermint, Cinnamon Chips, Hibiscus, Stevia Powder.

**Due to availability issues, tea ingredients may sometimes change. 

 

Gymnema: is a woody vine that grows in the tropical forests of central and southern India. It has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine and is also referred to as gurmar, which means "sugar destroyer". The leaves are most commonly used portion to make extracts and tea. Gymnema is believed to suppress the taste of sugar and may help reduce sugar cravings. It is also believed to block the absorption of sugar and fats in the intestines while increasing insulin production in the pancreas.

 

Cinnamon is a sweet spice that can stop sugar cravings when nothing else can. Cinnamon cures your sweet tooth and “tricks” your brain into thinking you’ve had sugar. Cinnamon has been proven in research to help to reduce sugar cravings by controlling blood glucose levels.

 

Peppermint stimulates the hippocampus region of the brain, which controls memory and mental clarity. Helps with focus, wakefulness, alertness, and concentration.

Reduces irritability associated with cravings.

 

Hibiscus can speed up metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and various antioxidants, while also helps in controlling cravings and anxiety.

 

Caffeine levels: none

 

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